Heather Wheeler | 

21 Stores That Reward You for Recycling

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Did you know some retailers reward you for being environmentally conscious and recycling? By simply bringing in your recyclables, such as electronics, clothing, and containers from beauty products, you can earn discounts and freebies. We know recycling is always a good idea, and we feel great doing our part. But getting a reward for recycling changes the game.

Recently even Hydro Flask got in on the recycle for a reward phenomenon. When you send back one of your old Hydro Flask water bottles, they’ll send you a $5 coupon for a new one. But more on that and other recycling rewards below.

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1. Get up to $1,250 off new Apple products when you send in your old devices.

A person taking an iPad pro out of a shipping box with another Apple product inside.

Apple has multiple items that they’ll take from you to recycle in exchange for a store gift card. Of course, restrictions apply and some items may not qualify. However, those that do will net you an Apple store gift card that can be used for purchasing new devices or gaming titles. Check out these estimated trade-in values:

  • Smartphone: Up to $600
  • Tablet: Up to $445
  • Computer: Up to $1,250
  • Apple Watch: Up to $165


2. Cash in used printer ink cartridges for $2 each at Staples.

It pays to shop at Staples. Buy at least $50 in ink or toner (within 180 days of recycling) and then drop off your used cartridges at your local Staples store. You’ll get $2 per cartridge as part of their Staples Rewards program. Rewards can be used in store or online.


3. Bring your own reusable bag to some Target, Trader Joe’s, and Kroger stores and get rewarded.

a stack of resuable target shopping bags

The list keeps growing of stores offering rewards when you bring your own reusable bags!

From cents off per bag, entries into raffles, or even fuel rewards, we compiled a list of stores that reward bringing your own bag.


4. Reduce fashion waste and get a 15% discount from H&M.

recycling Bin at H&M

Be it torn, worn, or completely outdated, for each bag of used clothing you drop off (any brand) at an H&M store, you receive a coupon/voucher worth 15% off your next purchase at H&M. You are, however, limited to two coupons per day.

Related: 15 Brilliant H&M Shopping Tips You Need to Know


5. Get a $5 store reward for each clothing item you donate at Eileen Fisher.

Retailer Eileen Fisher takes donations of gently worn Eileen Fisher clothing and resells them. Part of the profits go to support girls, women, and the environment through various charitable contributions. You can drop off your clothing donation at any Eileen Fisher or Eileen Fisher Renew retail store.

For each item you donate, you’ll get a $5 “Thank You” reward card good in store and online at eileenfisher.com.

Related: Check out Earth Day deals and freebies for 2023.



6. Rack up Best Buy’s recycle rewards for in-store savings.

Best Buy is kind of a one-stop recycling center for all techy gadgets and gizmos to keep them out of landfills. Here are some of their current recycling promotions:

  • Recycle any HDD or SSD (USB excluded) storage device in-store and save 10% on select WD and SanDisk storage devices. This offer is valid until Jan. 27, 2024.
  • Bring in any used PC or PC gaming accessory to Customer Service and get 20% off a new Logitech purchase.
  • Recycle any modem, router, or gateway in store and get 15% off a new modem, router, gateway, and In-Home Wi-Fi Setup service. This offer is valid until Dec. 31, 2023.
  • Recycle any printer and save $30, $50, or $75 off select Epson printers.
  • Recycle an old printer and get up to $30 off select HP Smart Tank or HP Laser Tank printers.

Learn more about Best Buy’s recycling program.


7. Get store gift cards when you recycle used electronics at Target.

A Target employee handing someone a Target gift card at the register.

Target will give you store gift cards in varying amounts when you recycle everything from cell phones to iPods to gaming systems. Find out more about Target Trade-In.


8. Earn 10 reward points for every Kiehl’s product bottle you recycle.

Are you a superfan of Kiehl’s luxurious body products? For every full-size Kiehl’s bottle that you bring in you’ll get 10 points in your online My Kiehl’s Rewards Vault. Once you earn 100 points you can redeem them for a $10 voucher.


9. Earn 200 points per ink cartridge when you recycle at Office Max and Office Depot.

Printer cartridge being removed from a printer

If you join Office Depot/Max’s Recycling Rewards program, you can earn 200 points per cartridge (limit 10 per month) if you spend $10 that same month. Your Recycling Rewards will post in your account the day after your purchase.



10. Receive a $5 credit per T-shirt you recycle at Marine Layer.

You can upcycle your old (cotton are best) tees with the Marine Layer Re-Spun program and get a $5 store credit for every one you drop off in-store or send in with their pre-paid recycling kit. You can get up to $25 in store credit every quarter. This earning period resets in January, April, July ,and October. So you can get $100 in store credit each year by recycling.


11. Give Madewell 20 pairs of old jeans (no matter the brand) and get a new pair free.

Dig out your old jeans and bring them into Madewell, who will send them off to be turned into eco insulation for housing. They usually give you a hefty $20 discount on a new pair of Madewell jeans in-store. However, this year they’ve had a couple of events that offered greater rewards for recycling:

From 12:01 a.m. ET on July 25, 2023 through 11:59 p.m. ET on September 11, 2023, Madewell offered $50 off a full-price pair of Madewell jeans if you recycled a pair to their denim upcycling program.

In April 30, 2023, you could’ve picked up a new pair of jeans if you traded in 20 pairs, no matter the brand.


12. Drop off unwanted The North Face clothing or footwear and get a $10 reward.

academy north face hoodies in store hand holding hoodie

Through their Clothes the Loop recycling program, The North Face will give a $10 reward toward your next $100 or more purchase when you drop off your gently used, unwanted The North Face clothing or footwear at an outlet or retail store.


13. Receive a promo card that can help pay down your AT&T bill by bringing in old devices.

Regardless of your device’s brand or carrier, AT&T will give you a promotion card for your unwanted or unused wireless phones or tablets. You can use the card not only for new merchandise, but if you’re an AT&T customer, it can go towards your bill! You can trade in up to five devices in 12 months.


14. Trade in your old Levi’s and get up to $30 in gift cards per piece of clothing.

With Levi’s Secondhand, you can bring (by appointment) up to five pieces of Levi’s clothing into a participating Levi’s store, and they’ll reward you with Levi’s gift cards. Depending on the age and condition of your clothes, here’s what Levi’s accepts and their trade-in value:

  • Levi’s jeans: $10 – $30
  • Levi’s denim shorts: $5 – $20
  • Levi’s Trucker Jackets: $10 – $30
  • Levi’s 501 jeans you’ve cut off yourself: $5 – $20


15. Recycle the packaging from Lush to get a free face mask.

Many of Lush’s products come without any packaging at all. However, their liquid, jelly-type products are packed in these little black recycled plastic pots. If you bring five empty pots into one of their stores, they’ll reward you with a free fresh face mask (in the fridge)!


16. Get a $5 coupon when you trade in Hydro Flask products you no longer use.

hydro flask recycling trade-in program details on pile of bottles

With the Hydro Flask Water Bottle Trade-In program, you can trade in old Hydro Flask water bottles or other Hydro Flask stainless steel products and get a $5 coupon that’s good at HydroFlask.com. What about stuff like tumblers, mugs, food jars, bowls, and plates from other retailers? Yep, they’ll take those, too! Check out all deets on this recycling program here.


17. Bring in an empty Buff City Soap laundry detergent container and save $1 on your refill.

Buff City Soap (similar to Lush) packs their $19.50 plant-based laundry detergent in 30-ounce reusable plastic containers. You’ll save $1 a refill when you bring back your empty Buff City Soap laundry soap containers at any of their 260+ locations across the U.S. Find your nearest Buff City Soap location.


18. Recycle your old Reformation clothing and shoes and get store Ref credit.

You can drop off old Reformation items at your local store or through an online recycling request. Once donated, you’ll get a range of Ref credits for your items. Here’s the break down:

  • Shoes – $25
  • Bags – $25
  • Outerwear – $20
  • Denim – $15
  • Sweaters – $10
  • Active – $10
  • Tees – $5

You’ll receive your credits in your SuperCircle account. According to a Reformation rep, there is no minimum or maximum amount of credits you can use at one time.


19. Get up to $100 off at Universal Standard when you recycle your old clothing (any brand).

Recycle any of your old clothes to Universal Standard and get up to $100 to spend with them. You must buy a prelabeled recycling bag for $4.50 which you can fill up with 1- 4 items and send off to Marimole (Universal Standard’s recycling partner).

In return you’ll get a $-off code to use the next time you shop:

  • Recycle one item, get a $25 off code for the next time you shop.
  • Recycle two items, get $25 off the next two times you shop.
  • Recycle three items, get $25 off the next three times you shop.
  • Recycle four items, get $25 off the next four times you shop.


20. Trade in your old gadgets for gift cards at Walmart.

Like other retailers, Walmart has a trade-in program that can earn you some money, this time, in the form of gift cards. You’ll need to sign up for a free Trade-In account before you can send in your device(s) like cellphones, laptops, tablets, etc., and get a gift card for them.

To trade in your stuff you have to ship it via FedEx or UPS (with a prepaid label you’ll print from Walmart’s trade-in site). Once Walmart evaluates your item(s), you’ll immediately get your eGift card via your Trade-In account. Expect the process to take about a week.

Here are a few recent values we found for Walmart’s trade-in program.

  • iPhone 14 can get you up to $552.50
  • HP Victus 15.6″ laptop can earn you up to $280
  • Playstation 4 can get you up to $129.60
  • Fitbit Versa can earn you up to $28


21. Use the Costco Trade-In program to exchange old tech for a Costco Shop Card.

Though their trade-in quotes aren’t the highest compared to places like GameStop and Best Buy, if you’re a diehard Costco shopper, you might appreciate getting a Costco Shop Card in exchange for your old tech devices. It’s not actually Costco who actually handles the behind-the-scenes process though — a company called Phobio runs everything and the payment comes to you as a Costco Shop Card.

Here’s a recent quote I got for the Costco Trade-In program:

  • iPhone 12 Pro can earn you a $240 Costco Shop Card


Honorable Mentions

Although the following retailers don’t offer incentives for donations, they still have recycling programs to help our planet.

AutoZone takes back oil, filter, coolant, and batteries.

AutoZone will recycle motor oil and gear oil, plus oil filters and batteries. While you won’t get anything back for handing over your oil and filters, turn in an automotive battery and you’ll get a $10 Advance gift card.

Costco takes your old glasses and donates them to those in need.

Look for the eyeglass donation bins at your local Costco Optical center. They take prescription eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses, and readers and send them to Assist International, a nonprofit that distributes the used glasses locally and internationally.

Home Depot accepts batteries, compact fluorescent bulbs, and plastic shopping bags.

You can drop off household batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, 9V) and rechargeable batteries, compact fluorescent bulbs, and plastic shopping bags (must be clean) in the labeled recycling bins at your local Home Depot.

Patagonia accepts clothing that is beyond reuse or repair.

Recycle your washed/cleaned unwanted clothing at a Patagonia retail store. Or, you can mail your stuff to their Service Center. You won’t receive any incentive, other than knowing you did something good.

Patagonia Service Center – Recycle Program
8550 White Fir St
Reno, NV 89523-8939

Ulta will take back any brand of beauty empties (as long as they are clean, of course).

Ulta will take back your clean beauty empties, no matter the brand. Be sure to use their Packaging Drop Off Guide so you know whether you should take your containers back to an Ulta store, curbside recycling Pact (their recycling partner), or the trash.


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